Tag: What Inspires You

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Every Breath You Take

September 25, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

by Lori Pyne

As I look at my long to-do list, I can feel my shoulders tensing, my stomach clenching and a headache lurking. Even if I forego sleep, I doubt I’ll finish the must-do, much less the really important stuff. I take a deep breath and exhale. I then stop my spinning thoughts and take another deep breath. I hold that breath and slowly release it. Some of my tension seeps away.

I draw in another breath and the image of a family friend crosses my mind. Deep breathing isn’t one of Cathy’s stress busters. Since her birth, Cathy has fought for her every breath. Cathy does not let her cystic fibrosis control her life. She’s received advanced degrees, works at a day job and exercises. Yes, exercises. Each difficult step after difficult step for three miles everyday.

Of course, she has to be in shape in case a lung is found for her. There’s motivation.

I draw in another deep breath. This list of mine suddenly doesn’t seem as impossible as it did just a moment before. I take another deep breath and start working.

Lori Pyne is a member of OCC, and a multi-tasking volunteer. She is currently serving as one of our Online Class Moderators, Guest Reception Coordinator and Coordinator for the Book Buyers’ Best Contest for published authors. She is married with one son, and works full time for an entertainment law firm.

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A Life Well Lived

August 25, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

by Lori Pyne

I sat in the room listening to mourners recounting memories of the life just lost. The picture that grew from the stories exchanged was that of a life well lived. I couldn’t help but wonder how I would be remembered.

Would I also have friends, family and business associates competing to share the best story of my many acts of kindness?

Will my children, both biological and those from my heart, remember my unwavering love? Whatever the challenges faced, will my parental devotion shine through the solutions explored?

Will my business associates compare the many examples of my honesty, my determination, my generosity, my ethics and my morals?

Will my friends, those from birth to those newly made, gather to discuss my giving spirit, my always open door, my ever ready support, my never say die attitude, my big heart?

When I am remembered, will it be for the things I did and the people I touched? Will the world be just a little better because I passed through?

Will those I leave behind remember a life well lived?

How would you want to be remembered?


Lori Pyne is a member of OCC, and a multi-tasking volunteer. She is currently serving as one of our Online Class Moderators, Guest Reception Coordinator and Coordinator for the Book Buyers’ Best Contest for published authors. She is married with one son, and works full time for an entertainment law firm.

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What Inspires You?

March 27, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

By Lori Pyne

Has a moment or a story stopped you in the midst of your hustle, bustle life and reminded you of the better side of our human nature? Some of the stories make me laugh; some make me cry, but they have all touched me, even changed me.

Tears flowed down my cheek when I read of the high school coach who allowed an autistic student to play in the last few minutes of a basketball game. His classmates cheered each of his attempts. The other side’s fans realized they were observing something special and added their support. The boy did not allow his lack of success to deter him. He tossed the ball up again. The place erupted when he scored. The crowd, no longer divided by sides, celebrated his victory.

A moment of kindness. Yet the impact lasts far beyond that moment for me and, most likely, for those who saw it in person and for others who were told the story.

What act of kindness continues to inspire you days, months, even years afterwards?

Lori Pyne, an active member of OCC, is often inspired by her friends and family.

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TINA RALPH: Bah Humbug, It’s the Holidays

December 8, 2006 by in category Archives tagged as

Every year I wonder at the logic of the holidays. We want to get together with family and friends. We want to spend lots of money on presents. And we want to decorate every corner of our house. Then we wonder why we’re stressed.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the holidays and enjoy spending time with friends, but why do I have to do all the other stuff? Can’t I just get together with friends because I haven’t seen them in a while? Can’t I leave the holiday stuff in the storage boxes and just clean the house? Since this is a task I really don’t enjoy in the first place, yeah, it’s a real achievement in itself. Why must I do all this stuff every year?

Guess what? I don’t.

My kids are old enough to put up the tree by themselves. As it turns out, when they have to do the work themselves, they suddenly don’t need a tree! The poinsettia I bought last week is enough!

The gifts have gotten easier too. Nowadays, I visit the grocery store and buy gift cards for everyone. Let them buy their own presents after the holidays when everything’s on sale. We both come out better in the long run.

Now, that you know that I’m a total washout in the holiday department, let me just say. Remember that the holidays are all about friends and family. Forget the stress. Forget the worry. Enjoy the holidays for what they can be — a time to reflect on how lucky we are to have the special people in our lives that make every day worth living.

Happy Holidays.

Tina Gayle Ralph
OCC/RWA Membership Director

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November 22, 2006 by in category Archives tagged as

A zillion years ago, when I was first married, my husband and I started a Thanksgiving tradition. Instead of spending the holiday with extended family, whom we see at other holidays, we decided to hold our own potluck event for friends and occasionally random (friendly) strangers.

Over the course of nearly three decades, the attendance has risen and fallen – as high as twenty-five, as low as seven – and people have arrived, moved away and sometimes moved back. There’s been at least one minister, whose family was out of town, and several elderly guests from my husband’s church; numerous Jewish friends and I’m sure our share of atheists. We’ve watched our friends’ children grow up and have produced two sons ourselves, the elder of whom is now in college.

My husband, who rarely cooks, prepares the turkey and stuffing. I shop, make the gravy and mashed potatoes, and provide incidentals such as rolls and cranberry sauce.

Looking back, I recall memorable guests and moments. My older son’s first Thanksgiving, being passed from guest to guest. Friends from the Associated Press, where I used to work, including the then-science writer, who donned an apron and washed dishes afterwards.

The food varies each year, although some regulars have developed their own niche. Our older son’s best friend from preschool – now in college – and his family bring pies. One Chinese-American family prepares Chinese food; another prefers to fix sweet potatoes. Sometimes there are two fruit salads, or two types of stuffing, or extra mashed potatoes. Of course, we enjoy the leftovers!

Next fall, our younger son starts college. We hope that, like his brother, he’ll always come home for the holidays. There’s nothing like greeting old friends, making new ones, and enjoying a changing assortment of food.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Jackie Diamond Hyman writing as Jacqueline Diamond
The Doctor’s Little Secret, Harlequin American Romance, February 2007
Daddy Protector, Harlequin American Romance, May 2007
Twin Surprise, Harlequin American Romance, September 2007

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